Tuesday, May 6, 2014

‘Emiratis can lunch in London, travel to Yorkshire and visit friends in Scotland’

Not my Aston Martin of course. Just free pose. 
(Exclusive interview with British Ambassador to the UAE Dominic Jermey for The Gulf Today)
Britain wants more and more Emiratis to visit and the idea behind the recent introduction of the visa waiver scheme is to encourage the UAE nationals to plan trips at the spur of the moment, “for lunch in London, travelling around Yorkshire, and having quick holidays to see their friends in Scotland.”
This was stated by the British Ambassador to the UAE Dominic Jermey in a recent exclusive chat with The Gulf Today.
From Jan.1, 2014 UAE passport holders are allowed to visit the UK for up to six months with an electronic visa waiver for tourism, business or study purposes.
“It has really worked. What we have seen is the number of Emiratis visiting the UK going up enormously. Emiratis are not a security risk. We do not want to sell them visas. We just want to open up our country so that they can visit at ease,” the ambassador said.
Asked about the recent attack on three Emirati sisters in London, Jermey replied: “I cannot comment on a legal process, but the key concern that I have got and all British community in the UAE has got is for the welfare of these women. Our hearts go to them, our hearts go to their family. I do pray for their wellbeing.”
The envoy termed the recent celebration of the Queen’s birthday in the UAE particularly appropriate because of the special ties between the two nations.
The queen made a state visit to the UAE in 2010. Last year, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, made a two-day state visit to Britain, the first visit for a UAE President in 24 years.
“I do not think there will be any other country where her majesty has done a state visit in 2010 to be followed only three years later by a state visit by Sheikh Khalifa. That I think symbolises our bonds.”
At the trade level too, the ties are getting stronger. In this connection, the ambassador made a special reference to the Dubai Ports World investment in London Gateway.
“A minister who visited the UAE recently is also a constituency member of parliament for Essex where London Gateway with DPW investment is making such a difference both to the shipping industry and also to jobs to people in that area and to what they think about the UAE.”
London Gateway, located at the mouth of the Thames, received its first cargo vessel in November after a multi-million dollar investment led by DP World.
Insisting that it was such people-to-people contacts that bind the bonds, Jermey said it was very easy to be an ambassador here “because I deal with people who love to visit the UAE. It’s a great place to be.”
Talking about the trade target set in 2009 by the two countries, he noted, “We are beating it.”
He also referred to Emirates Airlines investments in East London, where it has put in the cable car and invested in sponsorship of Arsenal Football Club."It is a continuous engagement,” Ambassador Jermey summed up.